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Nigel Farage: Local Democracy Matters
Date 01/04/2011 22:33  Author webmaster  Hits 3680  Language Global
"There is a sea-change going on in local politics. I think the public's disaffection with the political class is the greatest that it's ever been," UKIP leader Nigel Farage said today on Daily Politics (BBC).

"UKIP has made a big move forward... we're being seen to be far more relevant than ever before"

Speaking on the coming local elections, Mr Farage said, "May the 5th is very important to us. And the people that are coming to us are not just disaffected Conservatives, there are disaffected Lib Dems as well. The other big change in the UKIP vote are the number of 18 to 30 year-olds who are voting for UKIP."

Asked what UKIP could do at a local level, given that it is viewed as a 'single issue party' [EU], Mr Farage said: "UKIP's single issue is democracy.... We want to push this idea that local democracy matters and the local people should be able to have a say on thier area."

"Whether it's votes for prisoners, whether it's car insurance premiums for young girls, annuity rates for old men, again, again and again, we see bread and butter issues that affect people's lives, and the Westminster parliament is now totally impotent over all these areas. So it's all well and good, you calling Europe a single issue, but it's now 75% of our laws."

"We're the party that doesn't want politicians telling us what we can and can't do. So our view, standing in a local election is if the local public wants to have a smoking room at the back, he or she should be allowed to do that. Our view is if local people want to call a referendum on a major local issue they should have the right to hold a referendum,and a binding referendum at that. We believe in democracy and we want to see a big devolution of powers from Westminster down to local councils."

On the Alternative Vote: "We're going to support the AV referendum on the basis that it is the first step towards proportional representational politics."  He added that under AV people cannot say that a vote for UKIP is a wasted vote. "They can vote with their conscience first [UKIP No.1] and then they can vote tactically with their second. So I think our number of first preference votes would really quite surprise people."

BBC - Daily Politics, 1 April 2011